Ah, the holiday season is upon us. Can you feel it in the air? Pumpkin everything, Christmas trees displays shoving Thanksgiving out the door and to the curb, people trying to figure out if they should wear tank tops or down jackets - yes, we’re heading to that that time of year when the weather outside is frightful, and not just because it’s cold.
It’ll be frightful because of what it will be doing to your hair. Winter can be damaging on hair in general, but it’s positively brutal on kinky, curly, textured or relaxed hair.
Why Is Winter So Hard on the Hair?
There are a few reasons that winter is so destructive to our tresses.
There is very little moisture in the air during winter, so you don’t get the built in moisturization that comes from the heat and humidity that usually accompanies warmer weather.
Freezing temperatures and harsh winds literally strip your hair of the moisture that it does have, causing it to snap and break like dried-out straw.
The heat from indoor heating can be damaging because it’s extremely dry, wreaking further havoc on your precious delicate strands, resulting in breakage and split ends
- That cool winter hat or Canada Goose hoodie that you plop down on your head to protect it from the cold could be stripping even more natural (and added) oils and moisture from your hair, leaving it vulnerable.
What Type of Hair Fares the Worst in Winter?
All hair can suffer from extreme cold temperatures, but kinky, curly hair is hit triply hard. The reason that the textured or curly hair is so vulnerable when the mercury drops is because hair with coils, curls and kinks simply has a harder time retaining moisture than straight hair. The natural oils produced by the scalp (sebum) can travel down the hair shaft of straight hair much easier than it can on a coiled strand. This natural protection provides straight hair with a built-in layer of defense that curly hair doesn’t get as easily.
Although not immune to winter breakage, straight hair is not as likely to break as easily as curly strands can when the weather turns brutal. Hence why it seems as if those of us with kinky, tightly coiled and kinky hair struggle with dry winter hair more than anyone else. But! All is not lost. Read on.
How Do I Keep My Hair Moisturized in Winter?
There are many, many things you can do to protect your kinks, curls and coils during the cold-weather season. These time-tested methods can help you protect your hair all throughout winter so that you can whip out healthy, moisturized tendrils when the temperature kicks it up again in the spring. Check out below for tips that can help you keep your hair moisturized, supple and soft even when winter is doing its best to bring it down!
Hypermoisturize Your Hair With Your LCO or LOC Combo
LCO and LOC sound like acronyms for the names of some ultra-boring mutual funds or marketing buzzwords dreamed up by some hyped-up startup bro, but they’re so much more than any of that. The letters “L”, “C” and “O” refer to liquid (water), cream (or butter) and oil, and the order that the letters are in are based on the order in which you choose to layer the products onto your hair.
However you layer the ingredients, the results are richly hydrated tresses. Test out both options on your hair to see which one gives you optimum winter results. Once you apply your products, your hair remains moisturized for several days.
Line Your Hats With Silk
The cotton or wool lining inside your hat is literally stripping your hair of precious moisture every time you whip it on or off. Line your favorite hats with silk or satin so that there’s a barrier between your hair and your hat lining. This will keep moisture in your hair where it belongs.
Get a Humidifier
Unless you’re a fan of being able to measure the temperature inside your home using the wind chill factor, you’re not going to be turning off your heat during the winter. If you get a humidifier, however, you can force moisture into your home’s air, combating dry heat’s natural inclination to suck every drop of moisture out of the room. This will help keep moisture in your tresses where it belongs.
Choose Protective Styling
Protective styling is one of the best ways to help your hair retain moisture. By its very name, a protective hairstyle is one that protects your hair from the elements and the stress of day-to-day styling. Protective styles can range from lemonade braids to stylish, hip-length extensions to rich, lush twists and bantu knots to brilliantly colored African head wraps.
Whether your protective style includes extensions or not, you simply have to make sure that your own hair has plenty of hydration from root to tip so that you avoid breakage and dryness.
Following these tips can help you keep your luscious locs super lush throughout the whole season.